Puppet Masters 2009
December 1, 2009
No one enjoys being manipulated or influenced. As consumers we love to ‘buy’ and hate to be ‘sold.’ Even when we are sold, we would like to believe that our purchase decision was really our idea.
Such is the state of our industry’s most influential leaders this year. There are government regulators and compliance leaders that really pull your strings. You feel like cost and paper work increase endlessly while security effectiveness does not. The best of the puppet masters, though, are those that let you buy their ideas, make them your own and help you and your organization improve as a result.
Regardless of which side of the ledger your influencers come from, welcomed or not, visible or unseen – the Most Influential People in our industry will have an impact upon your organization and security program. Some have had legislative impact and others have changed how your employees will travel. Or when and how your employees get H1N1 vaccinations. One works tirelessly to convince your CEO and you to protect your intellectual property.
And there are those whose dedication to our industry is demonstrated by sharing their expertise and leadership in our industry with the security profession at large. Each may have one seminal contribution for you to consider and perhaps, embrace. As you consider the ideas and changes proposed by this year’s Most Influential, ask yourself what solutions they provide you. And if you leave this issue with just a few new ideas for either personal or professional improvement – then you have had a great read.
Like all markets as they mature, security’s maturation from products to services to solutions is in full swing. “Solutions” has been the first word of our tagline since our launch as your business magazine in July 2006. It continues to grow in importance as a touchstone for the manufacturers and installing companies you rely upon, as well as the internal customers that rely upon you.
Which allows me to make my first prediction for 2010: that it will be the year of the “Business Solution” for successful security programs and implementations to be funded and properly measured.
If your 2009 was anything like ours, it earned you a doctorate in survival and innovation. As the Security 500 Survey showed, the year was challenging in many ways and the best security leaders found ways to demonstrate security’s organizational value and advance both their influence and role. Others found themselves the unfortunate recipients of budget cuts or worse, pink slips. One confidant said it looked like the economic havoc was being used as “a severance free early retirement program.” Others gained promotions and added to their responsibilities and budgets.
But in spite of the year’s challenges, which included the economy, pandemics, tsunamis and hurricanes, increased regulations and more, the most impressive part of 2009 is the professionalism and dedication that you have given to your organizations all year long. On behalf of our entire team, we want to say “Thank You” to our readers as we approach the holidays for keeping our communities secure.
2009 was challenging, but without our business partners, it would have been impossible. Allow me to thank our partners at The Security Executive Council, Sandy Jones & Company, SIA, our Advisory Board, our contributors and columnists.
As noted earlier in this column, “Business Solutions” will become the secret code for successfully presenting and selling security programs in 2010 at the enterprise level. The most successful are already applying this formula and now it is rolling across our industry to midsize and smaller businesses. Smart channel companies are speaking business and writing ROI focused proposals. As Mario Moussa said earlier this year, “We gave up trying to teach security to CEOs, so we are teaching business to security professionals at Wharton.”
2010 Convergence will be focused on organizational solutions including but not limited to security. This is not the IT-izing of security technology as Shane Bates points out in his report, “Industry Trends and Interesting Times” but the convergence of people, processes and technology. If you just read this paragraph and don’t believe it applies to you, please reread it.
S3: Splintering of Security by Sector. Not too long ago security was horizontal and similar at the utility and the hospital. But “Business Solutions” has and will accelerate the drive from horizontal products and services to vertical solutions. Loss prevention was always unique vs. other sectors due to the very measurable value and ROI an LP program can document. Now that the stakes have risen across all sectors, specialization among products and channel partners will drive this trend.
Best wishes to you for a happy holiday season and New Year. Thank you for subscribing, reading and being a part of the Security family.